Madolyn Fransen

Madolyn is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Greco-Roman.

Major: Global Business

Minor: Communication


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I chose to study abroad because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I had never been overseas before and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to learn about different cultures. As a Global Business major, I thought it was important to study abroad and learn the different business techniques and styles in different cultures and languages. I decided on this program because I always wanted to travel to Greece and Rome. I also really loved the unique opportunity to not only travel to two different countries but to live life fully and make those countries my home.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

One experience that had a lasting impression on me was when my group attended a climate change talk at the Vatican. We were the only students that attended the talk and it was really a special thing to be included. We had to opportunity to hear from some of the worlds smartest people. This really brought my group together and had us all coming up with ways to help to support and help this important issue to all of us. I will never forget this day and all the things I learn.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

This experience was life changing. I gained lifelong friends and a new love for travel. I learned an incredible amount about different cultures, religions, and history. I also learned a lot about myself. I really grew a lot as a person by coming more confident, brave, and independent. Overall, it was an amazing experience that I would recommend to everyone. I will forever cherish the memories I made!

Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?

Some benefits of spending a semester is being able to fully immerse yourself into the culture. You have more time to travel and experience the country/countries you are living in. You will be able to understand more about the people and cities you are living in and it allows you to grow more as a person. My personal development was affected by studying abroad because I became more confident and independent. Traveling by myself or with a small group of people really allowed me to become more secure with myself and made me rely less on my family or friends. I was able to learn a lot academically through my classes and excursions. My classes were mostly outside the classroom, so it was a lot more about experiencing the culture and hands on learning. I developed professionally by being able to try and successfully communicate with people that did not speak my language fluently. This will help me professionally when I work with people who speak English as their second language.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

One piece of advice I would offer is to embrace all the opportunities you are given with an open mind. Often, these are once in lifetime opportunities, so you need to make the most of them! I would also recommend researching the places you are traveling to and planning the things and places you want to see or visit. I would also recommend going out and trying to new things. Sometimes you might need to have a night in and relax but it was always fun to try something new each day. That can be a new drink, food, introducing yourself to someone new or visiting a new place. I would also recommend doing big group activities, so you get to know your group better.